Appendix 3: Discourse, circa 4 July 1838

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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by many, has not as yet been obtained. Under all this fire of persecution, the cause has rolled on with a steady course; the increase has been gradual, but constant, and the church, at this time, numbers many thousands: some in the old world have become obedient to the faith, multitudes in the , as well as in most parts of the .
During these scenes of persecution, a number of the saints have lost their lives, and others are missing, and it is unknown what has become of them; but the presumption is, that they have been secretly murdered.
No country, of which we have any knowledge, has offered so fair an opportunity for determining the great hostility which exists naturally in the human heart against God and against his work, as this one. In other countries, persecutions were carried on under pretext of law; but in this country, where the constitution of the , and the constitution of every State of the Union, guarantees unto every person, the rights of conscience, and the liberty of worshiping as he pleases, to witness such scenes of persecution, as those which have followed this church from the beginning, in dispite of law, justice, equity, and truth, and at war with the very genius of our republican institutions, and contrary to the spirit and design of our government; surely evinces the depravity of the human heart, and the great hostility there exists in the hearts of the human family, against the work and purposes of God; and most fully confirms the apostle’s saying; that, “the carnal mind is enmity against God.”
But notwithstanding all this violence, we can say as did Paul to the Corinthians: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in dispair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” We have until this time, endured this great fight of affliction, and kept the faith. If the ancient saints had to endure as seeing him who is invisible—so have we. If they had to suffer the contradiction of sinners against themselves—so have we. If they had to undergo fears within, and fightings without—so have we. If they had to suffer stripes and imprisonments, for their religion’s sake—so have we. If they were often in journeyings, in perils of water, in perils among robbers, in perils by their own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—so are we. If they had to commend themselves to God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the [p. 7]
by many, has not as yet been obtained. Under all this fire of persecution, the cause has rolled on with a steady course; the increase has been gradual, but constant, and the church, at this time, numbers many thousands: some in the old world have become obedient to the faith, multitudes in the , as well as in most parts of the .
During these scenes of persecution, a number of the saints have lost their lives, and others are missing, and it is unknown what has become of them; but the presumption is, that they have been secretly murdered.
No country, of which we have any knowledge, has offered so fair an opportunity for determining the great hostility which exists naturally in the human heart against God and against his work, as this one. In other countries, persecutions were carried on under pretext of law; but in this country, where the constitution of the , and the constitution of every State of the Union, guarantees unto every person, the rights of conscience, and the liberty of worshiping as he pleases, to witness such scenes of persecution, as those which have followed this church from the beginning, in dispite of law, justice, equity, and truth, and at war with the very genius of our republican institutions, and contrary to the spirit and design of our government; surely evinces the depravity of the human heart, and the great hostility there exists in the hearts of the human family, against the work and purposes of God; and most fully confirms the apostle’s saying; that, “the carnal mind is enmity against God.”
But notwithstanding all this violence, we can say as did Paul to the Corinthians: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in dispair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” We have until this time, endured this great fight of affliction, and kept the faith. If the ancient saints had to endure as seeing him who is invisible—so have we. If they had to suffer the contradiction of sinners against themselves—so have we. If they had to undergo fears within, and fightings without—so have we. If they had to suffer stripes and imprisonments, for their religion’s sake—so have we. If they were often in journeyings, in perils of water, in perils among robbers, in perils by their own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—so are we. If they had to commend themselves to God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the [p. 7]
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